Jim Valentine: Buying a home in winter

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

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So we’ve had our first good snowfall in Northern Nevada and ob-la-di, ob-la-da as Lennon/McCartney would say. Life goes on. People still want to sell while others still want to buy. Put on your warm clothes and go look at homes. The good news is that much of your buying competition will be taking snow days off from their pursuit of buying a home.
When you look at homes in the winter be sure to dress warmly so you are comfortable. If you aren’t comfortable it will affect your emotional experience in a home and possibly your reasoning ability. Be comfy and be safe. If it is icy walk carefully centering your weight over your foot as you walk. Sellers should clear walkways if they know they have showing, but vacant homes may not get the same care so be aware.
Before you enter the home, stomp your feet to clear the snow off your boots. Common courtesy. Keep the outside doors closed so the heat doesn’t escape. If you open the drapes/blinds to see the view, be sure to close them again so they can provide insulation the rest of the day. Be super careful on steps, especially after you see the home and are excited about buying it.
It is hard to see the landscaping if there is snow on it. Sellers often provide summer photos on the kitchen counter or dining table, but absent that, you may have to use your imagination. Look at the photos in MLS. Most of them will not have snow. Only those listed during the snow days will have snow on them until the agent can change them out. Again, there is a good chance the seller will provide seasonal photos to offset the snow conditions. If not, you might make an offer conditioned on seeing the landscaping after a snowmelt. You would hate to find out there is no lawn in the backyard when you were counting on it being there. Don’t get overly concerned about this aspect, just be aware and be smart.
The timing of the escrow and other transaction components can be influenced by the weather this time of year. Inspectors can’t go on the roof if it is icy or snowy. Deliveries for parts for repairs can be delayed, not just for weather, but we are experiencing COVID delays in deliveries as well. Winter conditions can sometimes affect moving schedules which can impact occupancy dates.
It is important that you remember to transfer utilities in a timely manner when you close escrow. A home without heat in the winter can be a recipe for disaster. You don’t want your pipes to freeze. Be sure to make arrangements with the utility companies and coordinate with the seller so they don’t turn them off before you can turn them on. This is critical this time of year.
If you live in a HOA find out if there is snow removal, especially if the roads are private. We don’t really get that much snow in the Northern Nevada valleys, but when we do get snow it is nice to have the roads cleaned up before the evening freeze. If you have a private road maintenance agreement find out what the neighbors think of snow removal. They may not like or need it. Each to his own.
Winter is a great time to buy a home. Some sellers don’t want to stay through winter and may be more receptive to an offer than they would be otherwise. Also, you can find yourself with less competition. The real estate industry continues on just fine in winter around here. We love to show homes in the snow and cold because we know the buyers that look in the snow and cold are serious in their quest.
Just as the heat of summer causes us to make adjustments to maintain our creature comforts, so does winter weather. Embrace it and move forward to realize your goals.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your Real Estate needs… Experience is Priceless!  Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. dpwtigers@hotmail.com


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